October 14, 2010

A car-free street grows in Queens

Play street in New York CityWe have already made much ado over play streets, a brilliantly simple way to address the lack of outdoor play opportunities in cramped urban areas. By petitioning a city to close a residential street to cars at a regularly scheduled time, a community gets an "instant playground," even if it lacks swings and monkey bars.


Perhaps the most inspiring play street is in the Jackson Heights neighborhood in Queens, N.Y. Here's a brief overview from StreetFilms.org:

Back in 2008, Jackson Heights residents banded together to win car-free Sundays on 78th Street, creating a new, temporary public space for children and families in one of NYC’s most park-starved neighborhoods. This year neighborhood activists aimed much higher: They wanted to make the street car-free 24-7 for the entire months of July and August.

It's hard to understand the true power of a play street until you see it in action:

A Car-free Street Grows in Queens from Streetfilms on Vimeo.

Photo courtesy of
Transportation Alternatives.

the buzz in play, play street, play outdoors, jackson heights, new york, queens